Marathi Movie Review : Rege

Mumbai’s underworld, a topic very rarely tackled in Marathi cinema, is at the heart of this week’s Marathi release Rege.
Abhijit Panse’s directorial debut has received a lot of praise across the festival circuit and rightly so.
Born in a family of doctors, Aniket Rege (Aaroh Velankar) has everything going right for him – a fantastic academic record, a promising career as a doctor ahead of him, rich parents who give him everything. But Ani crosses paths with the underworld and gets fascinated. Without realizing it, Ani gets deeply involved with a don who’s on the radar of the city’s deadliest encounter cop. Does Ani get out of the situation without compromising his bright future?
That’s the story of Rege. Panse brings to the table a very interesting voice as a filmmaker. The screenplay unfolds in a non-linear format, taking you back and forth. The flashbacks are well-established with visual cues. Panse uses the film’s simple story to his advantage and creates a gritty, violent story without showing too much blood and gore.
Performances in the film are noteworthy. Right from Velankar, who brings out the excitement, innocence and nervousness of his character with great skill, to Mahesh Manjrekar who plays a supercop with panache, bringing in his signature comic timing and great screen presence – every actor is out of their comfort zone and yet entirely comfortable in playing their part in the film. Notably, Pushkar Shrotri, who has been seen largely in comedies, plays a serious role with great precision.
What doesn’t work for Rege is that fact that the trailer sets you up to expect something completely different. The poster asks, ‘Are you paying attention to your kids?’. While the film attempts to establish that the upper-middle class, educated section of the society is just as vulnerable to the underworld as the lower-middle class, uneducated sections. The message about parenting seems slightly redundant to me.
The two main police characters get their names from real-life top cops Pradeep Sharma & Sachin Vaze. While the film is entirely fictitious, these real names and the nature of the storytelling can leave you confused between fictional and non-fictional nature of the film.
The editing is crisp, and the background score captivating – both major contributing factors to the film’s style of storytelling.
Rege is a film that is very Marathi in the foundation of its story and yet, it is a film like Marathi cinema hasn’t seen before. I watched the film with my sister who has lived in the US for almost half a decade and she strongly felt that Rege is a Marathi film that will transcend language barriers.
Rege brings together two distinct strands of the society and merges them to create a story that is gritty, violent and innocent – all at the same time. I enjoyed this film immensely. But I am still unsure about the message that the film attempts to convey.
The film scores 3 samosas out 5.

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